So, we expect five upsets in the first round: Neshaminy over No. 3 Unionville; C.B. South over No. 4 Plymouth Whitemarsh; Ridley over No. 5 Garnet Valley; North Penn over No. 6 West Chester Rustin; and Coatesville over No. 7 Spring-Ford.
In the quarterfinals, C.R. South battles past similarly run-happy Henderson; Ridley, with a rugged defense, ousts Matt Johns and C.B. South; Abington's balance proves too much for Coatesville; and North Penn handles familiar playoff foe Neshaminy.
In the semifinals, Ridley stymies quarterback Brian Donnelly and C.R. South's wishbone offense, and North Penn, impressive in recent weeks, gets a chance to defend its crown by ending Abington's stellar season.
The AAAA champion?
Continuing the momentum it has gained since falling apart in the second half of a Week 3 loss to St. Joseph's Prep, North Penn ends the Cinderella story, beating Ridley, 21-19, and claiming its second district title in the last four years and fifth overall.
District 1 Class AAA. In first-round action, No. 1 Pottsgrove downs No. 8 Pope John Paul II; No. 5 Strath Haven avenges a regular-season loss and defeats No. 4 Marple Newtown; No. 2 Springfield (Delco) trips No. 7 Academy Park; and No. 6 Interboro squeaks past No. 3 Phoenixville.
In the semifinals, Strath Haven fights past Pottsgrove, and Springfield dismisses Delaware County neighbor Interboro.
In all-Central League final, Strath Haven and Springfield meet again. The Panthers won, 28-7, on Oct. 28. Kevin Clancy's squad keeps the upper hand with a 26-14 triumph over the Cougars.
Last week: 6-1. Overall: 84-30.
District 1 Class AAAA
No. 16 Upper Dublin (7-2) at No. 1 C.R. South (9-1), 7 p.m. C.R. South's defense, led by tackle Andrew Cohen, will make things tough on QB Andrew Derr and the Cardinals. Pick: C.R. South, 34-14.
No. 9 Downingtown East (8-2) at No. 8 Henderson (8-2), 7. It's an intriguing rematch between the Cougars and Warriors. Henderson took Round 1, 42-20. Pick: Henderson, 30-28.
No. 13 Central Bucks South (7-3) at No. 4 Plymouth Whitemarsh (8-1), 7. C.B. South handyman Dan Brown and PW signal-caller Russhon Phillips are terrific playmakers. Pick: C.B. South, 24-23.
No. 12 Ridley (8-2) at No. 5 Garnet Valley (9-1), 7. The Jaguars have won nine in a row, but we like the Green Raiders to avenge last month's 21-19 setback. Pick: Ridley, 27-20.
District 1 Class AAA
No. 5 Strath Haven (7-3) at No. 4 Marple Newtown (7-3), 7. We like the Panthers in this semifinal, even though the Tigers won easily, 24-7, in the regular-season meeting. Pick: Strath Haven, 26-20.
District 1-12 Class AA Subregional
No. 3 Imhotep Charter (6-3) at No. 2 Springfield, Montco (10-0), 7. Rising end Byron Cooper and the Panthers need to keep close tabs on Clay Ewell (1,254 rushing yards, 15 TDs) in this semifinal. Pick: Springfield, 17-16.
Chestnut Hill Academy (7-2, 4-0) at Malvern Prep (8-1, 4-0), 1. Look for the Friars to secure their first outright title under Kevin Pellegrini. They shared top honors in 2009. Pick: Malvern, 27-14.
Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019, email@example.com, or @ozoneinq on Twitter. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at www.philly.com/ozone